One of the biggest cultural shifts that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic was the massive rise in remote work. As offices across the globe were shuttered, workplaces had no choice but to adapt to remote work. While this certainly took some getting used to, it has now allowed people to pursue their careers while traveling the globe.
These remote workers – called digital nomads – are able to live anywhere on the planet they wish, often choosing to hop from place to place, in order to experience the diversity of rich cultures.
Tips for Digital Nomads in Europe
The digital nomad life offers a lot of perks to those who seek the adventure of the traveling life, but it’s not all easy! There are many factors to be considered, including quality of life, leisure activities, and ease of travel. Europe is a popular destination for digital nomads, allowing the possibility to hop from country to country with relative ease and speed.
Looking to get started as a digital nomad in Europe? Here are a few tips to get you started:
1. Do your homework.
While the carefree life may tempt you to take a devil-may-care attitude and figure things out as you go, you don’t want to be that expat at the airport who is stuck with no place to stay, no way to communicate, and no money. Before you leave, secure a place to stay, and assure you will have full-time access to good Wi-Fi. Do your research on how to assure you have a functioning phone, chargers that fit the outlets in your destination, and the local public transportation system.
And while it may seem obvious, make sure that the income you make from your remote work will sustain you while abroad – the last thing you want is to get stuck with no way home!
2. Have an emergency fund.
Unexpected expenses are the norm when living as a digital nomad. If the COVID-19 pandemic taught us anything, it’s to expect the unexpected. Showing up in a new country can carry surprising costs, whether you are hit with an apartment deposit you didn’t know about or you end up having to renew a visa.
Before you leave, set aside an emergency fund that includes enough for airfare home, about a week’s worth of meals, and some additional padding. Keep the fund in an account that you aren’t using as you travel. The security of having a financial back up plan will only make your experience abroad more enjoyable.
3. Get yourself into a routine.
Living as a digital nomad might mean you’re doing the bulk of your work at 11 PM, or that you have to attend a meeting via Zoom at 3 AM local time. If you’re the type that likes to live without a routine, living abroad can wreck your business. When the locals are hitting the beach or partying it up at the club, you may be tempted to blow off work to fully enjoy the local culture. It’s so important to be able to enjoy the life of a traveler while still getting your work done and building your business.
Before you embark on your adventure, get yourself into a routine. Make sure you are able to prioritize work over other more attractive options that come up, and start to discipline yourself to get work done either early in the morning, or late at night, depending on your destination’s time difference.
Of course, the flip side of this point is that you don’t want to spend your life locked in your apartment on the other side of the world typing away. A routine allows you to not only make sure you get your work done, but also to make sure you’re getting out and enjoying your life.
4. Find ways to stay healthy.
Traveling from place to place will afford you a constant stream of new foods to try, new activities to engage in, and new communities to befriend. Between the excitement of travel and the occasional exhaustion of working at different hours, it can be easy to let your health take a back seat. Living the digital nomad life can actually present you with many new opportunities to stay active.
Perhaps you will have the opportunity to surf or mountain climb – or both in the same week! The rigor of travel can take a toll on your body, so you’ll want to make sure you’re in good shape to keep up with it. This doesn’t mean rejecting opportunities to indulge in local delicacies but look for ways to do so while keeping your body healthy. Perhaps the local culture also boasts incredible fresh produce or fish straight from the sea. It is possible to fully immerse in a local culture while also protecting – or even improving – your health.
5. Get international health insurance
Part of the fun of the digital nomad life is the excitement of the unexpected. European healthcare system is well-equipped to even compete with the top private health insurance companies. However, sometimes the unexpected lands you in the hospital or a doctor’s clinic. Accidents or illnesses can not only wreck your global nomad life abroad, it can have a massive impact on your finances if you’re not prepared.
Carrying a high quality global health insurance policy will mean you won’t have to spend loads of time researching each different destination and how to navigate health costs. If you’re ready to jump in, don’t hesitate to sign up for an international health insurance plan like Expat Financial, a company that specializes in insurance for people in exactly your situation.
Those who live as digital nomads would likely tell you that the challenges are absolutely worth it for the freedom and adventure they find in that lifestyle. With more jobs allowing remote work than ever before, there’s never been a better time to try it for yourself! With a little preparation, and a lot of discipline, the life of a digital nomad can take you places you never dreamed!